Lady Lions take Cavaliers to 'boarding school'
SAGU evens their record at 9-9 in 64-42 road victory
Seniors Winston and Roberts and freshmen trio pave the way
Box Score and Play-by-Play (links below)
SAC Standings at: http://www.soonerathletic.org/
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -- A 17-4 surge in the first half gave Southwestern Assemblies of God University an eleven point lead on their way to a 64-42 besting of St. Gregory’s University on Saturday at the W.P. Wood Fieldhouse.
SAGU leveled their record at 9-9 and improved their mark against competition in the Sooner Athletic Conference to 3-5. Head Coach Arlon Beadles’ team is now 5-4 on the road.
Only one team in the SAC has won more (Texas Wesleyan, 6) away games.
St. Greg’s slid to 2-11 overall and 1-6 in league games. They remain winless at home (0-6).
Senior guard Nia Winston (Garland, Tx / Lakeview Centennial HS ) converted a pair of three-point plays during the Lady Lions run to grab a 26-15 lead with 4:34 to go in the period.
The Lady Cavaliers would not seriously threaten the rest of the evening.
SAGU’s defense limited the Cavs to 24% shooting for the game. In particular, Team Purple benefitted from the hosts misfiring from long distance (5 of 30).
After solid showings against No. 3 Oklahoma City University (10-2 record) and No. 19 John Brown University (13-3) in the past week, the Lady Lions continued their upgraded play in the hometown of Brad Pitt.
In contrast, the Pride was on target on 45% of their shots.
Developing as game-influencers are freshmen forwards Charity Page (Nacogdoches, Tx / Nacogdoches HS ) and Laken Ward (Cleveland, Ark / Wonderview HS ). Ward had 10 pace-setting rebounds in the first half as SAGU dominated the glass, 49-32.
With 13 boards on offense, the Lady Lions were able to overcome 17 turnovers by three guards.
Trailing 30-20 at recess, the Cavs turned up their defensive heat. They forced SAGU into misfiring on six of eight attempts and coercing three quick turnovers to draw within 34-26 five minutes into the second stanza.
They would not get any closer.
In fact, the Lady Lions responded with an 18-5 answer that stemmed the tide and established a 52-31 lead at 7:18 to go.
During the decisive stretch of the game Winston drained two triples, thanks to passes from Shaquita Roberts (San Antonio, Tx / Byron Steele HS ) and point guard Taylor Hill (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS ).
Hill collected three of her five assists as Team Lioness took charge. She also dished dimes to Roberts and Page.
Winston netted two foul shots, a steal by Ward led to a Roberts layup and Alexis McAfee (DeSoto, Tx / DeSoto HS ) scored to put the visitors firmly in control.
SAGU would prolong their upper hand with a 26-point lead (63-37) late in the game.
Winston and Roberts had what Assistant Coach Kory Henry called “great, all-around games.”
Winston’s stat line included a game-high 22 points. She made 7-of-16 shots, two treys and six-of-eight free throws.
At 5’6, the leading scorer in the SAC registered four assists and had three steals.
Her scoring average increased to 18.1 points per game. She has been in double-figures in thirteen consecutive games and in 15 of the 18 games this season.
Roberts reached double digits for the first time in twelve games. She sank 5-of-6 tries for 11 points, pulled down five boards and blocked two shots.
McAfee (MACK-ah-fee), a freshman, had one of her better games to date. She was good on four-of-five attempts for eight points. Six rebounds and two helpers reflected well on her play on the wing.
Ward totaled 11 rebounds (four offensive), four points and swiped the ball on three occasions.
Meanwhile, the six-foot Page was credited with eight rebounds, six points and rejected two Cavalier shots. Jirah Rodriguez () added seven caroms (KAIR-ums).
Hill finished with six points and five rebounds.
St. Greg’s 5-foot-10 guard Kylie Tatum, a sophomore, paced the Cavs with 14 points. She has scored 10 or more in five of the last six contests.
Sideline Point of View
“We’ve been working hard on doing a better job getting to rebounds,” said Henry. The results confirmed that it paid off.
“This was a nice win on the road against a very well coached St. Gregory’s team,” Coach Beadles said following the game. “We had great offensive play out of Nia and Shaquita tonight.”
“Our offensive effort was complimented by the tremendous rebounding efforts of Laken and Charity.”
“I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of this team,” he added. “We have a great group of young ladies who glorify God in all things they do.”
Purple Pride in action Tuesday in Cedar Hill
SAGU’s next appearance is a local road game on Tuesday, January 21, when they play Northwood University (8-10 / 1-7 in SAC).
The game tips-off at 6:00pm at Nutting Arena, the home gym for Trinity Christian School (1231 E. Pleasant Run Road, Cedar Hill 75104).
It is approximately 26 minutes from SAGU at Trinity Church.
The Lady Lions have twelve games remaining, half of them at home.
Official Box Score (click on the split blue-box in the upper right corner for the written play-by-play):